Making a social map to understand community needs.
Launching the Largest-Ever Cohort of Families Thanks to You!
Thank you for your generous support for Beyond Borders’ Help Haitian Families Rise From Poverty to Dignity’ project on GlobalGiving. We are grateful for your solidarity with families!
With support from so many people like you who care, this month Beyond Borders will begin work with the largest-ever cohort of families – 165! This is a 50 percent increase in the number of families in past cohorts. Thank you for making it possible for more families to escape extreme poverty!
Preparing to Begin Work with 165 Families this Month
An initial meeting was held with local authorities in the target communities to discuss program plans, identify any specific needs, or anticipated challenges. Using social maps created by community leaders and Beyond Borders staff, we conducted initial assessment visits with 190 families identified as among the most at-risk in three communities: Pikmi, Palma, and Titans. Ultimately, 165 families were invited to join the next cohort, making it our largest ever. Thank you for making it possible to reach more families with this life-changing program!
Adding New Staff to Support a Larger Cohort
As this cohort is larger than past cohorts, two additional case managers were recruited and trained, and refresher training sessions were held with existing case managers. The addition of two new staff members will reduce the number of families per case manager to 40, instead of 55. This will make the workload – especially as it relates to weekly visits and specific case follow up – more manageable.
Our primary implementing partner for the Family Graduation Program – the Peasant Association of Lagonav (AAPLAG) – also plans to hire a new staff member to be assigned to support the creation and management of Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). Based on the feedback received, rather than encouraging participants to join already existing VSLAs, AAPLAG will create new VSLAs with members of the cohort.
A Look at What Just-Graduated Families Achieved Thanks to Your Support
- 110 participants successfully completed the program; 48 of whom are female adult survivors of child servitude (restavèk)
- 10 children living in restavèk were brought home by their families
- 86 participants maintained household gardens, planting new vegetable crops
- 78.9 percent of participants doubled their assets within the life of the project
- 110 participants are living in newly constructed and/or repaired homes
- 151 new participants from Pikmi, Palmas and Titans have been identified to receive invitations to join the new cohort, to be officially launched mid-November
What Graduating Families are Saying about the Transformation They’ve Experienced
Two recent graduates of the program shared what it meant for their family to be part of the program. Here are their stories, in their own words:
“My name is Sainfania. I’m 23 years old and I have three children. My youngest is eight now. Before I wasn’t always able to pay for my children to go to school. We were living in a lean-to on my grandparents’ land. Even though I worked the land, sometimes I had to beg to feed us. I didn’t have even one chicken that was mine.
Now the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is go tend to the animals. I move the goats and give the pigs their food. Then I sweep the yard and bathe the children. I clean under their nails and style their hair. I send them to school looking good! The program taught me to do that.
Before I didn’t know how to save money. The [Family Graduation Program staff] showed me how to save a little bit out of my income. I learned that I should only sell my animals to pay for something really important. Now I have seven goats, a pig and some chickens. I think there will be a time in the future when I’ll be doing even better than people who have more than me today.
Every time I sell something from my garden, I’ll keep saving some of the profits. I keep watching the interest accumulate. Soon I’ll buy a cow. What I learned in the program will always be with me.
The spirit of God moved the people who helped me get out of the horrible situation I was in. I thank God every day.” ~ Sainfania, Family Graduation Program graduate, Titans
“Life was always difficult for me. My father and stepmother sent her four children to school, but I had to stay home and do all the chores. I have five children of my own. I used to avoid coming in contact with any neighbors so that no one would know how we were living. There were many days that our only meal was vines from the woods boiled with a little sugar cane. But some days I didn’t even have enough money to buy a bucket of water. One year, I sold the shelter I had built so that I could send the children to school. Then I really had nothing.
When I joined the Family Graduation Program, the first thing I did was use my stipend to buy moonshine to add flavors and then sell it for a profit. The other women encouraged me to try even though moonshine doesn’t sell well in other areas. It sold well. Girlande (her caseworker) showed me how to put some of the money into savings. She also showed me how to write my name so that I could sign.
Before I started in the program, I was always hungry. I’m not hungry anymore. You can see the meat on my bones. Now my children and I sleep in my house where it’s dry inside. I have a business and lots of goats. If I need to pay a large bill, I can sell a goat and there will be more.
My house feels so big, it’s like a church. This year with the drought it was difficult to keep the garden watered, but I will plant again. I live right here in the middle of three busy paths. I don’t hide anymore! I chat with passersby. In the program we learned how to stand tall. I am proud of my situation even if it took me 50 years to get here. Sometimes I even have something to share.
Now I can count on myself. Life is still hard, but I only take steps forward. There are many other people around here that are in the same situation that I was in. I pray that each one of them can receive a boost like I did!” ~ Monrose, Family Graduation Program graduate, Titans
Thank You Again
Your generosity and solidarity are making all the difference for families in a difficult moment for Haiti. Thank you for continuing to stand with families.
If you have any questions about what you read here, please contact Brian Stevens, Engagement Director, at (305) 450-2561 or email@example.com.
A community's completed social map.
A social map key shared with community map makers.
Drawing a social map.
Community members with their completed social map.